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Television/film/video producer : Job description

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Producers play an integral role in the television, film and video industries. A producer will oversee each project from conception to completion and may also be involved in the marketing and distribution processes.

Producers work closely with the directors and other production staff on a shoot. Increasingly, they need to have directing skills as they may be the director and be in charge of all project operations. Producers arrange funding for each project and are responsible for keeping the production within the allocated budget.

Creative input and the level of decision making varies, as this depends on the client and the brief.

Typical work activities

Producers are responsible for facilitating a project and are involved in every stage of the television programme, film or video, overseeing the project from beginning to end, both in the studio and on location.

Essentially team leaders, they are supported by production assistants, coordinators and managers, depending on the size of the project.

Tasks include:

  • raising funding;
  • reading, researching and assessing ideas and finished scripts;
  • commissioning writers or securing the rights to novels, plays or screenplays;
  • building and developing a network of contacts;
  • liaising and discussing projects with financial backers - projects can range from a small, corporate video costing £500 to a multimillion-pound-budget Hollywood feature film;
  • using computer software packages for screenwriting, budgeting and scheduling;
  • hiring key staff, including a director and a crew to shoot programmes, films or videos;
  • controlling the budget and allocating resources;
  • pulling together all the strands of creative and practical talent involved in the project to create a team;
  • maintaining contemporary technical skills;
  • organising shooting schedules - dependent on the type of producer and availability of support staff;
  • troubleshooting;
  • ensuring compliance with relevant regulations, codes of practice and health and safety laws;
  • supervising the progress of the project from production to post production;
  • holding regular meetings with the director to discuss characters and scenes;
  • acting as a sounding board for the director;
  • bringing the finished production in on budget.

In theory, the producer deals with all the practical and political aspects of keeping a project running smoothly, so that the director and the rest of the team can concentrate on the creative aspects.

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Written by Gemma Halder, AGCAS
December 2014

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